[International Galleries in Seoul] Koenig Seoul hopes to grow with emerging Korean collectors

[International Galleries in Seoul] Koenig Seoul hopes to grow with emerging Korean collectors

The exterior of MCM Haus in Gangnam-gu, southern Seoul where Koenig Seoul occupies the fifth floor and the rooftop terrace. (MCM)

The adhering to is portion of a series that explores global galleries that have opened a place in Seoul, as a new artwork hub in Asia. –Ed.

A check out to the rooftop backyard garden is a must when you are at Koenig Seoul, a German gallery which opened in Seoul past year.

Sculptures by artists represented by the gallery greet the site visitors, supplying a position for respite surrounded by art. Koenig Seoul, found at the MCM Haus developing in the posh neighborhood of Cheongdam-dong, is the Berlin-dependent gallery‘s newest branch oversesas.

Johann Koenig, who started Koenig Gallery in Berlin in 2002, has been progressive in operating his gallery, which now has venues in Berlin, London, Monaco, Vienna and Seoul. The 40-12 months-old founder arrives up with innovative tips and does not hesitate trying new matters.


Rooftop garden at Koenig Seoul (Koenig Gallery Berlin | London | Seoul | Vienna)

Rooftop backyard garden at Koenig Seoul (Koenig Gallery Berlin | London | Seoul | Vienna)

“I always test to make the ideal out of it or check out to make items in a different way. For instance, when I saw this possibility in Seoul, there was a rooftop which they did not use. I assumed it was fantastic. I often test to see the prospective,” Koenig said throughout a Zoom job interview with The Korea Herald done on Feb.3.

After at first opening a gallery in Tokyo in 2019, Koenig turned his eyes to Seoul and moved the gallery’s Asia venue to Seoul in April 2021.

He has seen some positive aspects of Seoul in contrast to other Asian cities, which includes Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong, he stated. South Korea has been recognized as a organization-welcoming country for international galleries thanks to the absence of VAT or import tax on artworks.

To the worldwide gallerist, the pros ended up not just confined to the country‘s organization-pleasant coverage on art, but cultural heritage as properly, which he explained as the “biggest gain.” Korea’s cultural heritage is what grabbed Koenig‘s focus, which include the excellent of the country‘s museums this kind of as Seoul Museum of Artwork and Busan Museum of Artwork, as nicely as Korea’s historic art motion “dansaekhwa.”

“The group in Korea was a great deal additional welcoming than in Japan. I also experienced a feeling that social media plays a even larger role in Korea, which is useful for us,” he stated. “I believe Korea is definitely the very best of all worlds. We all know about the problems in Hong Kong, China. And possibly in the new upcoming, in Singapore,” he stated.

He also drew a comparison to Germany.

“I imagine there is a commonality with Germany also, from its earlier of getting a divided place. Even now, 30 several years later on, you kind of however feel it (of becoming divided state). That is anything also, which is a particular relationship,” he extra. 

Installation view of works by German artist Katharina Grosse at Koenig Galerie in Berlin (Koenig Gallery Berlin | London | Seoul | Vienna)

Installation check out of functions by German artist Katharina Grosse at Koenig Galerie in Berlin (Koenig Gallery Berlin | London | Seoul | Vienna)

Koenig mentioned he also has identified a good potential in Korean collectors, particularly among the young generations. This is not like European nations around the world, including Germany, who have more mature and a lot more recognized collectors. “I assume there is a fantastic momentum suitable now (in Korea). There are a ton of flourishing collections which are setting up to expand. I believe in Korea, we can be part of in shaping and defining the long term of art,” he explained. 

He believes Frieze Seoul, which is scheduled to kick off on Sept. 2 at COEX in southern Seoul — becoming Frieze’s first art truthful to be held in an Asian metropolis -– is predicted to add to the Korean art market and make it even a lot more robust.

“Such a honest will accelerate it (the rising Korean artwork current market) and make it much larger, opening it up to international audiences, and I believe it will also particularly push Korean art internationally,” he included.

The gallery signifies some 40 global artists, according to the gallery’s official web site. When it comes to Korean artists, he observed there are numerous proficient feminine artists, however male artists right here have been obtaining awareness for a very long time. Koenig Gallery has often proven several woman artists, he reported.

Among the the women artists in Korea who have captivated him is Koo Jeong-a, who recently joined the gallery when it opened in Seoul. Koo is widely recognised at home and overseas as an interdisciplinary artist who explores intersubjective phenomena, presenting the topic by way of huge-scale sculpture and painting, as perfectly as movie, animation, sound and scent. The artist is owing to keep an exhibition later on this yr, possibly in Seoul or Berlin, in accordance to the gallery.

“What I found fascinating is that, seeking at the young generation, there are a whole lot of incredible youthful female artists. We are also in discussion with Korean youthful artists,” he explained, hinting that the gallery is preparing to represent additional Korean artists.

“I imagine artwork always requires to be progressive and contribute to interesting art. It requirements to pick up the discussion of the earlier and add to the future,” the gallerist reported on his belief about artwork and artists. 


Johann Koenig (Koenig Gallery Berlin | London | Seoul | Vienna)

Though many galleries are likely to be skeptical about the virtual art entire world, Koenig has been eager on increasing the artistic realm to the virtual room, like NFT art.

For the duration of the pandemic, he set up an e-commerce enterprise in June 2020, generating a platform to provide artwork on line including NFT artwork and fractional possession. It at this time has extra than 200 artworks from the primary and secondary marketplaces. “This is the upcoming of collectors,” he reported.

“When we seem at NFT art, we have to individual it among technological know-how and the creative use of it. NFT is a technologies and can be employed for several things — of training course one typical use is electronic artwork. The technological innovation opens a great deal of prospects which have however to be understood broader,” he added.

Koenig’s autobiography “Blinder Galerist” is set to be produced in Korean by the close of this 12 months. Published in German in 2019, it displays how he became a single of the world’s most influential art gallerists, conquering his disability right after he missing his eyesight at the age of 12 in an incident. His vision has been partially recovered.

Koenig Seoul is currently demonstrating a solo exhibition “Eleven Reports of Everything” by Mexico Metropolis-based mostly artist Robert Janitz, which operates through March 31. The exhibition consists of the artist’s incredibly 1st NFT “Sweet Sweet Cherry Pink.” 

Installation view of the solo exhibition of Mexico City-based artist Robert Janitz at Koenig Seoul (Koenig Gallery Berlin | London | Seoul | Vienna)

Set up view of the solo exhibition of Mexico Metropolis-dependent artist Robert Janitz at Koenig Seoul (Koenig Gallery Berlin | London | Seoul | Vienna)